Staff Picks | Spring 2020

08 May 2020

NEW ARRIVALS IN THE GALLERY | fine art

Elizabeth Blackadder, DBE, RA, RSA, RSW, RGI

Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk in 1931. She studied at ECA from 1949 until 1954 under Robert Henderson Blyth and William Gillies inter alia and earned travelling scholarships to southern Europe and Italy. In 1956 she married artist and fellow Scottish Gallery exhibitor John Houston and began teaching in Edinburgh. One of Scotland's greatest artists, she also garners recognition and success in London. Elizabeth is perhaps best known for her detailed yet lyrical watercolours of flowers, 'table-top' compositions using Oriental objects and her beloved cats. Trips to Japan and Venice and a greater emphasis on oil can be seen in landscape and townscape pieces as well as important still life series using decorated tins and boxes arranged with exotic fish, fruit and vegetables.

Elizabeth is also an inspired and skillful maker of original prints. We have oils, watercolours and original etchings in stock.

View the new work of Elizabeth Blackadder here

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Two Cats pencil and watercolour, 15 x 13.5 cm | £2,850
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Elizabeth Blackadder in her studio, November 2010

NEW ARRIVALS IN THE GALLERY | Furniture

ADRIAN MCCURDY

Adrian McCurdy has worked with wood since an early age. With a background in Fine Art, Adrian’s career moved first from painting to a development of unique wood-skills in furniture and more recently carved panels. From his workshop in the Scottish Borders, Adrian produces furniture using quality local timber and craft techniques both long established and contemporary, often working with storm damaged wood felled by local saw-mills.

Carving panels has added a further exploration for Adrian into individual qualities of wood and visual effects. It's a return to sawn-boards, picture making and the beauty of wood-grain. The complementary activity is a break from the physicality of moving weighty wood and twisted conundrums, to conventional planks, planes and sandpaper. The shaping is created...not released. The wood grain is key to both.

View the new work of Adrian McCurdy here

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Moonlit Bench, 2007, Riven and quartered oak with lattice carving, H:53cm W:100cm D:38cm | £1,950
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Adrian McCurdy

NEW ARRIVALS IN THE GALLERY | fine art

Calum McClure

Calum McClure is a painter who immerses himself in the landscape and in the artistic process of representing it. He understands how paint can convey the poetry of suggestion and is absorbed in the infinite possibilities of the medium. His work evokes atmospheres, especially through the representation of light, shadow and reflections. Some of his images are almost abstract, others quite clearly representational, produced from intense scrutiny of details in the landscape and vistas, views from particular vantage points all with their possibility for further imaginative exploration. He is an artist who dreams as he sees and concentrates deeply as he paints, enabling others who view his work to be transported in a similar way. The images are positive, beautiful and lyrical, those of a precious environment to be nurtured and celebrated.

View the new work of Calum McClure here

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
The Lake Between Three Villages, oil on canvas, 50 x 40cm | £2,850
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Calum McClure, 2018

Adam Bruce Thomson

Bruce Thomson - or 'Adam B', as he was often called - was a painter of great integrity whose long, productive life tells the story of Scottish painting for the first three quarters the twentieth century. Thomson was born in 1885, attending first the Trustees Academy and then the newly established Edinburgh College of Art where he received diplomas in both Drawing and Painting, and Architecture before scholarships took him abroad to Spain and then Paris. He was an accomplished etcher and lithographer and he also sought expertise in the difficult media of pastel and watercolour. By the 1920s, his technique was closest to S.J. Peploe, Cadell and other contemporaries favouring the technique of painting on a gesso ground with an oil-reduced vehicle so the subjects tended to be treated in flat areas of colour.

View the new work of Adam Bruce Thomson here

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Fishing on the Tweed, Autumn, c. 1968 watercolour, 38 x 64.5 cm | £2,750
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Self Portrait, 1907

NEW ARRIVALS IN THE GALLERY | JEWELLERY & BASKETS

Malcolm Appleby

Malcolm Appleby was born in 1946. He studied at Central School of Art, Sir John Cass and the Royal College of Art in London before establishing his studio in Scotland in 1969. A silversmith and metal engraver, known for his imaginative use of line and form, he considers gold “just another lovely material to work with.”

The Scottish Gallery has been associated with Malcolm Appleby since the 1970s; the many facets of his work have brought joy to many, each piece sold marking the beginning of a journey of discovery around this senior artist.The Gallery honoured Malcolm Appleby’s seventieth birthday in January 2016, which marked over fifty years of a creative tour de force. Malcolm Appleby has dedicated his artistic practice primarily to engraving and pushing the boundaries of metalwork; constant experimentation has made him a master of his craft and in 2014 he received an MBE for his outstanding contribution to the arts.

Click here to read more about Malcolm Appleby's engraving and view his work here.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Parrot Tulip Petal Pendant, 2019, 18ct green gold, 24ct gold, 18ct white gold, platinum, photo: Philippa Swann
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Photograph of Malcolm Appleby by David Eustace, 2015
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Large, Medium and Small Ginkgo Leaf Brooches, 2020, hand engraved silver with 18ct gold bead, H:3.5-5.5cm W:4-6.5cm | £685 (small), £750 (medium), £990 - £1100 (large), photo: Philippa Swann

Joe Hogan

Joe Hogan is first and foremost a traditional basketmaker and fine artist. He has worked from his studio in Loch na Fooey in West Ireland since 1978. He grows his own willow and harvests other naturally occurring materials such as wood, bark, larch, birch, bog myrtle, willow and catkins, which he incorporates in his work. Joe Hogan is regarded as one of Ireland’s master craftsmen and has gained a worldwide reputation for his work. Joe Hogan was shortlisted for the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018.

View the new work of Joe Hogan here.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Large Catkin Nest, 2020, pussy willow and willow, W:17cm £145
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Joe Hogan in his studio

Ruth Leslie

Ruth Leslie has been designing and making playful, sculptural jewellery since graduating from The Glasgow School of Art in 2015. Mainly working in a variety of metals including silver, gold and titanium, she creates contemporary pieces that are both inspired by the subtle details within fabrics as well as the structural forms within textile machinery. Ruth finely twists wire by hand - each wire is wrapped around frames to create tactile, refined forms – like dangling architecture. Each piece is currently made in her Edinburgh studio.

View the new work of Ruth Leslie here.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Inkle Neckpiece, Lady of the House Bangle, 2018 - 2020, silver £150 (bangle), £1,050 (neckpiece)
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Ruth Leslie in her Edinburgh studio

May Staff Picks

The Scottish Gallery staff would like to share with you, on a monthly basis, a selection of our favourite pictures and objects that are in The Gallery's collection but are not always on display. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Christina Jansen chose Michael McVeigh Elm Row

I love Michael McVeigh’s work – he is especially good at tonal, monochromatic compositions such as Elm Row. He has found a little overlooked corner and captured the headiness of Scotland in early summer and made magic out of the ordinary. He is a highly skilled draftsman – just look at the detail in the borders, stonework and every branch and leaf. Stunning!

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Michael McVeigh, Elm Row, pencil and crayon on paper, 52 x 66.5cm | £1650

Tommy Zyw choose James Cowie, Tanagra Figures (Planes and Figures), c.1947

There are some artworks which tucked away in our storeroom which I am always surprised to find still there. This drawing by Cowie shows the master draughtsman at his best.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
James Cowie, Tanagra Figures (Planes and Figures), pen and pastel, 30.5 x 31 cm | £3,450
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
James Cowie, c.1938

Ruth Leslie chose Isla Christie, Small Pastel Blue Squiggle Pin

A little bit of fun to brighten up your day! Wearing blue also feels supportive to our NHS in current times.

Lisa Muxworthy chose Emily Kidson Blue Dash Brooch

I also chose something blue in solidarity with the NHS. I'm lucky enough to own a pair of Emily's earrings, but this brooch is stunning!

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Isla Christie, Small Pastel Blue Squiggle Pin, 2020, silver, waterproof paper, 3.8 x 1.4 x 0.6cm | £48
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Isla at her work bench in GSA, where she is currently Artist in Residence
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Emily Kidson, Blue Dash Brooch, 2019, cherry wood , paint, oxidised silver, steel, 6 x 7 x 2.5cm | £395
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Emily Kidson in her studio

Kirsty Sumerling chose Stephanie Dees, Peaceful Day at the Harbour

Stephanie Dees captures a calm harbour day with the reflections of the fishing boats bobbing on the turquoise water of the sheltered harbour. A snapshot of tranquillity.
Click here to read more about Stephanie's current online exhibition Quiet Cities and the Sick Kids Covid-19 appeal.

Laura Cooper chose Hugh Buchanan – Dundas House.

Iconic Edinburgh building and statue. I love the way the light and shade are used for dramatic effect.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Stephanie Dees, Peaceful Day at the Harbour, mixed media 69 x 60cm | £1800
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Stephanie Dees in her studio
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Hugh Buchanan, Dundas House, 2017, watercolour, 56 x 76.2cm
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Hugh Buchanan - photo credit Mila Lazaro

Fine Art - New Arrivals in The Gallery

Alison McGill

Alison McGill has always looked with a weather eye on the world around her, immersed in the particular beauty of the natural world revealed by the coincidences of each day. She was initially inspired by the earth seen from above and she developed a technique with pigment and paraffin wax which best represented the drying crust of the earth’s surface, its mineral colours and sweeping fault lines.

Since then Alison's viewpoint has descended and as her mastery of her medium has developed to embrace new atmospheric subtleties; she can shift from the universal and abstract to the particular character of place, which is the motif of the landscape painter. Her work is still subject to interpretation and her concerns are far from topographical but we can walk with her and look at eye-level at the place where land and sea meet the sky.

Alison is a regular exhibitor at Society and Commercial Gallery group exhibitions throughout the UK and has been showing with the Scottish Gallery since 1997. Her works are held in Private and Public Collections worldwide.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
At The Coast, 2020, pastel on paper, 15 x 23 cm | £650
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Alison McGill

Watch artist and Gallery Assistant Director Alison McGill create this new artwork, At The Coast step-by-step.

View the new work of Alison McGill here

David Cass

David Cass was born in Edinburgh and brought up in the Scottish Borders. He graduated with First Class Honours from Edinburgh College of Art in 2010, receiving the Royal Scottish Academy’s John Kinross Scholarship to Florence. Furthermore The Royal Scottish Academy’s Benno Schotz Prize 2018, named work by Cass as the most promising created by a practicing artist in Scotland under 35. The RSA now holds six of his artworks in their permanent collection

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
The Regular Safety Match, 2020, gouache on wood within matchbox, H:3.5cm W:9cm D:1.5cm | £175
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
David Cass

View the new work of David Cass here

Ceramics | Jewellery | Furniture - New Arrivals in The Gallery

LARA SCOBIE

Lara is based in Edinburgh and studied ceramics at Camberwell College of Arts in London and has a Post Graduate from Edinburgh College of Art. Her current work is predominantly concerned with the dynamic interplay between form and pattern. This is explored through the cohesive integration of drawing, surface mark making and volume. This theme has been developed further within her ‘Tilted Bowls’ that articulate the symbiotic relationship between pattern and form. Surface pattern and colour observed in botanical life enable Lara to explore her love of colour and abstract pattern making.

Public Collections include: Paisley Museum, Glasgow, Scotland; Triennale de Porcelaine, Nyon, Switzerland; McManus Galleries, Dundee, Scotland; The Beaches Museum, Kansas State University, USA

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Lara Scobie, Large Oval Vessel with Orange Band H41 x W30 cm £2,600 - Photo: Shannon Tofts
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Lara Scobie

View the new work of Lara Scobie here

Jacqueline Mina, OBE

We have recently added some new pieces to The Gallery collection of leading UK goldsmith Jacqueline Mina.

A Lecturer at the Royal College of Art from 1972 until 1994, Mina has made a significant contribution to art education and has provided a great source of inspiration to her students; many of whom have become distinguished jewellers. Winner of the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize for Jewellery in 2000 for ‘consistent innovation and a significant contribution to contemporary jewellery… for subverting and taking precious metal techniques to the extreme’, Mina also received an OBE for services to Art. In 2011, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths honoured her career with the retrospective exhibition, Dialogues in Gold, which brought together a selection of her work spanning almost her entire career to date. It included pieces that are still regarded as seminal today; ground-breaking pieces for contemporary practice in precious metal. This was followed by Touching Gold, an exhibition which toured the UK.

Jacqueline Mina’s technical brilliance, allied with her strong artistic curiosity has resulted in a range of sensuous, understated work, which has a rare aesthetic presence in the field of contemporary gold jewellery. Her superb technical accomplishment in manipulating precious metals is combined with a fine, painterly eye. Sources of inspiration include the Venetian Palazzo Fortuny with its textile drapes; featuring devoré velvet with their etched patterns.

Public Collections Include: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Cooper–Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; The Crafts Council, London; The Goldsmiths’ Company, London; Leeds Museums and Galleries

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Jacqueline Mina; Textured Titanium Brooch I 2008 textured titanium, 18ct gold, H:6cm W:5.2cm £2,500 - Photograph: Neil Mason
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Jacqueline Mina in her London Studio, Photograph: Harriet Logan

View the collection of Jacqueline Mina here

Adrian McCurdy

Adrian McCurdy has worked with wood since an early age. With a background in Fine Art, Adrian’s career moved first from painting to a development of unique wood-skills in furniture and more recently carved panels. From his workshop in the Scottish Borders, Adrian produces furniture using quality local timber and craft techniques both long established and contemporary, often working with storm damaged wood felled by local saw-mills.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Adrian McCurdy; Two-Seater Bench 1999 Cleft oak with adzed and wax finish, H:48cm W:120cm D:37cm £2,650
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Adrian McCurdy

View the beautiful furniture of of Adrian McCurdy here

April Staff Picks

Kirsty Sumerling chose: Lizzie Farey’s Larch Bowl

With Spring finally in full swing, Lizzie Farey’s beautifully crafted larch bowl speaks of birdsong, spring flowers and longer days.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Larch Bowl, 2018, larch & willow, H15cm x W30cm

Elizabeth Jane Campbell chose: Mark Hearld’s Fauna

I love how Mark Hearld has captured a snapshot of a woodland scene cleverly depicting birds in flight, a pair of hares, a pair of foxes, a stag… and spot the pheasant. A fine way to bring the outdoors indoors!

Christina Jansen chose: Owen Jones’ Oak Swill

For April, I’ve chosen Owen Jones Oak Swill. I do the laundry in my household and this is what I use to transfer washing to the pulley – nothing like a beautiful useful object to make a household chore more enjoyable.

“Oak swill baskets are traditional to the southern Lake District and they have been made in this area for centuries. Their origins are unclear but it is likely that they evolved as a cottage industry which then expanded post the industrial/ agricultural revolution into a trade in its own right. Swills were used for coaling steam ships, in mines, mills, ironworks and many other industries. On farms they were used for broadcast sowing, harvesting root crops and for feeding animals. Their domestic uses included; laundry, log, garden and shopping baskets, even cradles. The swill making industry declined rapidly in the post war years which mirrored the rise in mechanisation and other technologies such as plastics.

Swills were part of a large coppice wood industry in the predominately oak woods of the Furness fells. The coppice woodsmen would deliver oak and hazel to the mainly workshop based swill makers or ‘Swillers’. The rim or ‘bool’ of the basket is a hazel rod which has been steamed for 20 minutes and then bent into the characteristic oval shape.
The butt end of 4” – 6” oak trunks are sawn to various lengths, cleft into lengthwise billets using a froe or ‘lat-axe’ and then boiled in a large metal trough for several hours. Once softened, the oak billets are taken out one at a time and riven or torn into thin strips (see picture to the left), the shorter ribs or ‘spelks’ left thicker (1/8”) and the longer weavers or ‘taws’ are riven finer (1/16”). The spelks are dressed (smoothed and shaped) on a mare with a draw knife and the taws are dressed over the knee using a hand knife. The swill is then woven, taking about 4/5 hours in total.” Owen Jones

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Mark Hearld, Fauna, linocut; edition of 65, H42cm x W60cm
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Owen Jones, 2008, hazel and oak, H42 x D61 cms, photography by Roland Paschhoff courtesy of the Design Crafts Council of Ireland
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Mark Hearld
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Owen Jones

Ruth Leslie chose: Heather McDermott’s Medium Washer Earrings

I am a big fan of Heather’s work as it is fun, modern and unique but also incredibly easy to wear. I have these earrings in a lime green – they are comfortable and yet always get noticed! A great way to bring a bit of colour into daily life, which I feel we all could do with at this time...

Lisa Muxworthy chose: Charles Simpsons’ Cup of Carnations

Spring is the theme and this charming oil painting by Charles fully fits. Happy and uplifting!

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Heather McDermott, Medium Washer Earrings, 2019, steel and paint, D:3cm
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Charles Simpson, Cup of Carnations, oil on canvas board, H15cm x W15 cm
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Heather McDermott
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Charles Simpson

Tommy Zyw chooses: Anne Redpath's Flower in a Jug

This bold still life by Anne Redpath was made in the last few years of her life. It displays the qualities in her art for which she is best known: a strong use of colour and bold handling of paint.

Alison McGill chooses: Matthew Draper's Sunrise (Part III) Kitchen Window Series No. 19

This beautiful pastel drawing is from Draper's series of work from his kitchen window in 2016. He captures the early morning with the sun breaking through with effortless skill.

Many people will be able to relate to taking in the view from their windows while we stay indoors and this pastel drawing certainly brings some calm to the unsettling situation we all find ourselves in.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Anne Redpath
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Matthew Draper

March Staff Picks

The Scottish Gallery staff would like to share with you, on a monthly basis, a selection of our favourite pictures and objects that are in The Gallery's collection but are not always on display. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Lisa Muxworthy chose: Bronwen Sleigh's Nile Avenue

Every time I see Bronwen Sleigh’s prints I am mesmerised. Her work explores space rather than describing it, challenging perceptions of the ordinary by presenting it in an unfamiliar way.

Ruth Leslie chose Koichi Io's Whirl Vase

I love the simplicity of Koichi Io’s work. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can be hardest to achieve, in their perfection. Koichi uses traditional techniques such as hand raising and chasing, resulting in fluid, exquisitely crafted works with a modern aesthetic. Koichi Io was a finalist of the 2019 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Bronwen Sleigh, Nile Avenue, 2017, hand coloured etching, H:32cm W:32cm ​
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Koichi Io, Whirl Vase, 2016, Patinated copper, hammer raised, H:15.5cm W:14cm D:14cm

Kirsty Sumerling chose Bodil Manz’s Høganæs

Bodil Manz is a master of eggshell porcelain and in Høganæs she has captured a translucency whereby the outer and inner surface decoration merge to create an integrated whole, subject to light and shadow.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Bodil Manz, Høganæs, 2018, porcelain cylinder no 3, H:12cm D:14cm

Elizabeth Jane Campbell chose Julie Blyfield's Lapel Pins

Spring is in the air so it feels like the perfect time to start wearing some florals - and this includes floral jewellery!

These lapel pins by Julie Blyfield are perfect miniature blossoms, inspired by the botanical landscape in Australia and beautifully crafted in silver and gold. Blyfield's work has always amazed and inspired me - her use of traditional metalworking techniques and skilful patination creates stunning, unique and wearable jewellery and silversmithing.

Chantal de Prez chose John Byrne's Girl with Monkey

Girl with Monkey demonstrates Byrne's incredible skill as a draughtsman, as well as his predilection for the surreal. The piece is signed 'Patrick', the pseudonym he went by in the late sixties and early seventies. The rich palette, the landscape's forced perspective and the rendering of the bird, monkey and clouds makes me wonder if Byrne had recently been looking at Japanese woodblock prints...

Look our for our March exhibition Dear John, which presents twelve beautiful portraits of Byrne taken by photographer David Eustace throughout their thirty year friendship.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Julie Blyfield, Lapel Pins, 2019, precious white and yellow metal, H:2-3cm W:2-3cm
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
John Byrne, Girl with Monkey, coloured etching, H:35cm W:25cm

Christina Jansen chose Susan Cross' Shima Series - Brooch I

Susan Cross has been exhibiting her beautiful jewellery with the gallery since the 1980’s. She has recently been working with pearls for the first time and this brooch is one of them. Susan’s work is inspired by textiles, in particular Korean braids and textiles and her oxidised silver brooch combines fine metal weaving and seed pearls. It is exquisite to look at, tactile and a successful work of art when worn. Susan Cross teaches jewellery at Edinburgh College of Art.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Susan Cross, Shima Series - Brooch I, 2019, oxidised silver, freshwater pearls, H:7.5cm W:7.5cm

Tommy Zyw chose Bruce McLean's Untitled

An underrated master of contemporary print making, McLean’s expressive screenprints are stylish and bold in equal measure.

Laura Cooper chose Heather McDermott's Short Diamond Fankle Necklace

Heather McDermott lives and works in Aird in the Isle of Skye, and takes inspiration from the surrounding landscape and ever-changing shoreline. I love the way Short Diamond Fankle Necklace combines graphic forms with delicate lines to create something both eye-catching and wearable.

Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Bruce McLean, Untitled, 1986, screenprint, H:86cm W:66.5cm
Staff Picks | Spring 2020
Heather McDermott, Short Diamond Fankle Necklace, 2019, stainless steel, W:5.5cm L:47cm
More News